Msunduzi failing to curb brazen electricity theft

2014-07-17 00:00

MSUNDUZI Municipality does not have the political will to deal decisively with electricity theft in the Jika Joe informal settlement.

That’s the accusation from downtown city residents who have been without electricity every night for the past week.

They say the problem of regular outages has been ongoing for the past three months but that they were without power on a daily basis. All this while the lights blaze in the Jika Joe informal settlement.

Residents are afraid to be named because the thieves brazenly walk past their homes to carry out their illegal connections.

“If we can see it happening, why can’t the municipality have their teams on standby to catch them,” a resident asked.

Old age homes in the area have tried to stoically bear the intermittent power outages, but now spend more days without power than with their electricity on.

Manager of Allison Homes, Bill Sutherland, said senior citizens, in their 80s and 90s, are faithfully paying their electricity bills every month but are forced to survive in the cold and the dark. He was deeply concerned about how this was affecting their health, especially as temperatures plummet to below zero.

The residents said they were tired of being fobbed off with explanations of long-term plans to electrify the Jika Joe informal settlement. They wanted to know what was being done to sort out the crisis.

Msunduzi spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said technicians were in the area yesterday investigating a short-term solution.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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